February 25, 2021
By Jeff Huett
DECATUR, Ga. — Changes in the status of the venue in Washington, D.C., for the 2021 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly have provided an opportunity for CBF to reach across the Fellowship to plan the most compelling Assembly possible for this moment, even as uncertainty around the global pandemic continues.
The 2021 General Assembly will be held virtually and organizers are actively exploring in-person participation by local CBF congregations in partnership with CBF state and regional organizations. To provide the best possibilities for in-person participation locally across the Fellowship, the dates for the Assembly are shifting to August 25-28 from the week of the July 4 holiday.
Ownership of the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., the previously announced venue, decided to close the hotel to make the site available for other uses.
CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley said that these changes provide our Fellowship a host of opportunities.
“I am so pleased to share news today about our plans for our 2021 General Assembly, which will be unlike any in the history of our Fellowship,” Baxley said. “We are pleased to invite you to join us in late August for an event that will include an even more comprehensive virtual experience than we offered last year while also finding ways to provide in-person gatherings in congregations in partnership with CBF’s states and regions. Because it is hard to predict now exactly what the conditions will be like in late August, we recognize that the levels of in-person opportunities will vary in different parts of our Fellowship.”
Organizers are exploring whether local congregations could host in-person General Assembly gatherings that fit their needs, capacity and safety protocols. These gatherings could be regional or joint meetings with other churches in the city or area. CBF, in partnership with CBF state and regional organizations, would provide ideas, resources and training to help make these gatherings meaningful points of connection for all Cooperative Baptists.
“Just as congregations across our Fellowship are discovering new ways of worship and study that includes both in-person and virtual opportunities, our General Assembly will do the same this year,” Baxley said. “In some ways I do grieve that a combination of circumstances means we cannot all be in one place for the second year in a row. I already look forward to our 2022 General Assembly! But I also believe that this innovative approach will allow us to invite many people to experience the life of our Fellowship, and along the way, we will discover new ways of gathering and strengthening one another. I am eager to see what new opportunities the Spirit brings to us!
“In the days ahead, we will share many more specifics as plans develop and conditions are clarified,” Baxley continued. “Plan now to join us in August as we seek the renewing power of the Triune God, and we boldly step forward in faith toward more faithful ministry in our communities and around the world.”
Registration details and more information about the virtual and in-person options for participation in the 2021 General Assembly will be announced as they are available.
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.